Global Health Weekly News Round-Up

  •  April 25, 2013 was World Malaria Day.
  • The International Labor Organization celebrates the World day for Safety and Health at Work on the 28th of April, 2013.

Politics and Policies:

  • The State House of Representatives voted to allow physicians to prescribe marijuana to patients with specific terminal illnesses or debilitating medical conditions.
  • Health officials in Australia have recommended a heavy government subsidy for the abortifacient drug RU-486.

Programs:

  • First online mapping tool was launched in Kenya to tackle the burden of malaria by tracking insecticide resistance in malaria causing mosquitoes.
  • Healthcare workers expanding their vaccination programs in Somalia. The country is among the first few African Nations to receive new vaccines against five deadly diseases- diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and influenza.
  • Peace Corps volunteers on the occasion of World Malaria day participated in malaria eradication activities worldwide.
  • In their sixth ordinary session at the African Union the African Union Commission has called for more domestic investment in health to fight the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases and tropical diseases.
  • The Ministry of Heath of Ghana receives mobile clinic facilitates to boost health delivery and improving health care access to people.
  • Health groups at the United Nations –backed Global Vaccine Summit announced that they will get rid of polio by 2018 with $5.5 billion vaccination and monitoring plan to stop this disease.
  • The U.S Food and Drug Administration has announced the development of a new hand held device called C-3 capable of detecting substandard or counterfeit anti-malaria medicines.
  • World athletics governing body IAAF will open a blood test center (BTC) in Kenya’s rift Valley town of Eldoret for Kenyan and Ethiopian runners.
  • A donation of US $2.3 million has been announced by the Government of Japan to the United Nations World Food Program to assist people of Lesotho to help to boost food security.
  • Japan donates US$1.5 million to Nambia for its rapid reduction of child mortality, malaria related deaths and mother-to-child HIV transmission rates.
  • The Federal government of Canada will allocate $250 million between 2013 and 2018 to support eradication of polio in Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan.
  • European Union has pledged more than 14.5 million euros to support Sudan health-related programs.

 Research:

  • The International Union against Tuberculosis and Lung disease has issued guidelines for multidrug resistant tuberculosis bacteria management – appropriate treatment.
  • According to an analysis of previous studies published in the British Medical Journal, smokers with HIV were at double risk of contracting bacteria pneumonia compared to HIV-positive non-smokers.
  • According to the data obtained from a recently published study, childhood malaria admission rates in three out of four hospital chosen for the purpose of study in Malawi has increased between 2000- 2010. An increase from 41 to 100% was noted.
  • According to a survey more men die due to HIV related deaths as compared to women. It was due their living in denial and failed access to treatment.
  • A study published in American College of Nutrition suggests that intake of minerals zinc and chromium or taking zinc and or chromium supplements helps people suffering from type 2 diabetes.
  • According to a survey in done in the U.K., parents risk children’s future health by failing to understand sun protection.
  • In a study done by the Chinese scientists there is no evidence that new bid flu passes between people.
  • Haiti launches its vaccination campaign against fatal childhood diseases.

Diseases & Disasters:

  • The U.S. Department of State has issued a travel warning to the people who are planning to travel to Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • The Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a nationwide shortage of products used in Tuberculosis skin testing.
  • The reports state that the outbreak of meningitis has killed at least 40 people in Guinea since the beginning of 2013. About 379 cases of this disease have been reported.
  • According to the reports communities in Northern Mali – Gao, Timbuktu and Kidal- are affected by food crises.
  • The bird flu H7N9 cases are rising in China. A total of 120 cases have been reported till now of which 23 deaths have been confirmed.
  • Air pollution rising in China. The level of air pollutants has risen to more than 40 times the recommended exposure limits.
  • According to the press release, two more human cases of avian influenza virus A – H7N9 has been verified by the Centre for Health protection (CHP) of the Department of Health of Hong Kong.
  • Reports have confirmed H7N9 bird flu in Taiwan.
  • According to the CDC, salmonella outbreak linked to cucumbers grown in Mexico.

Global Health News Last Week

SECTION NEWS

The following announcement, from Eric Williams, calls for any IH section members interested in assisting efforts to address federal global health and HIV/AIDS funding.  Please see the text of the announcement below.  Eric can be contacted by e-mail at ericwms@gmail.com.

Dear Colleagues,

I’m writing to request assistance in a “grasstops” effort to address federal global health and HIV/AIDS funding. As you are likely well aware, there have been serious threats and concerns regarding global health funding over the last several years. There is a real need to mobilize influential members of our community in an effort to ensure that Congress does not backtrack on our global health commitments.

I am doing some consulting work with amfar and they want to identify experts, donors, high-profile individuals and/or organizations in select states who can reach out to key Senate leadership. We need these individuals/organizations to show and voice their support for continued and sustained commitments for global health.

States of focus include Nevada (Sen. Harry Reid), Iowa (Sen. Tom Harkin), and Washington (Sen. Patty Murray). We believe these senators are in key positions to influence appropriations decisions and sure up support for global health.

The aim of this effort is to:

  1. identify grasstop individuals/organizations and
  2. plan, coordinate, and carry out outreach efforts to Senate leadership in a variety of ways, including state-level meetings, Hill visits, op-eds, sign-on letters, and so forth.

If you are interested or able to provide assistance in helping to identify and/or reach out to the above stakeholders, I would be very interested in speaking. If there is strong support for this I would be happy to facilitate a conference call to discuss in full.


August 19 was World Humanitarian Day.

POLITICS AND POLICY

  • The CDC has made updates to its flu vaccination recommendations aimed at children and people with egg allergies.
  • The United Nations has released a list of 248 organizations from 48 nations that are accredited to attend the UN High Level Meeting (HLM) on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) during September 19-20, 2011.  Meanwhile, as has been widely reported (including here and here), negotiations have stalled over an “outcomes document” that is to be approved at the meeting.
  • The World Health Organization is calling for a ban on a common blood test for TB, saying the test is unreliable.
  • Twenty-two children in Kancheepuram, Indiawho were not allowed to go to school because they are HIV positive have been ordered to return to school after a court ruled in favor of the students.
  • International funding for HIV fell by 10 percent in 2010 from the previous year, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation and UNAIDS; activists worry that a continued reduction will undermine progress in global HIV prevention and treatment efforts.

PROGRAMS

RESEARCH

DISEASES AND DISASTERS

  • The WHO Says Libya is facing a medical supply crisis.
  • The United Nations food agency called on Thursday for long-term aid for farmers in the Horn of Africa, saying constant crises in the region should shame the world.
  • A report by the National Institute of Malaria research in Delhi has found that climate change will enable malaria to move to new areas.
  • New research finds that radiation from the nuclear plant accident in Japanin March reached Californiawithin days, showing how quickly air pollution can travel, but scientists say the radiation will not hurt people.
  • According to an article published in Science, 19 August, cases of Chagas disease are rising outside Latin America, because large numbers of people who are already infected are migrating fromLatin America.
  • Len Rubenstein comments on the attacks on healthcare personnel inBahrain and the recent progress made to protect healthcare workers in conflict zones.

INFOGRAPHICS AND OTHER INTERESTING VISUALS

Thanks to Tom Murphy and Mark Leon Goldberg, Larry Johnson (filling in for Tom Paulson), Isobel Hoskins, and Jeff Meer.